ERISA News & Views  -  January 2010

Majority of Employers Not in Compliance with ERISA
- A Marketing Opportunity for Agents and Brokers
The majority of U.S. employers with 100 or more employees are not in compliance with the ERISA requirement to file an annual Form 5500 for their Health & Welfare Benefit Plans.  U.S. Census Bureau reports show that there are about 110,000 employers that employ 100 or more people.  However, according to public records available through, some 60,000 of these employers have not filed a Form 5500 for a Welfare Benefit Plan-a 55% rate of noncompliance*.  These employers could face onerous government penalties in the current environment of increased regulatory oversight.  
Beginning in 2010, employers must file all Form 5500s electronically. Electronic filing may make it easier and faster for some employers to file, but for others, it will create confusion and complication.  It will also make it easier for the DOL to monitor compliance and enforce penalties.
Fortunately, the DOL does have a Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program that offers a reduced penalty, but this program cannot be used once the DOL finds the employer's error through an audit or investigation.  The DOL is slated to hire 1,000 new employees, of which about 670 will be investigators.  
Offering ERISAPros' SPDs and Form 5500 preparation services is a unique way to expand your client base and protect your existing clientele from competition.  Insurance brokers, H.R. Consultants, accountants, attorneys, and other professional advisors should take steps now to get their clients in compliance before the DOL knocks on their door.

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*It is assumed that employers with 100 or more employees offer at least one Welfare Benefit Plan and are subject to ERISA Reporting and Disclosure requirements.
© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.


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